Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays belong to a category of dental restorations known as indirect fillings, meaning they are fabricated outside the mouth and then bonded onto the tooth surface. They are primarily utilized when a tooth has suffered moderate to severe damage, typically caused by decay or trauma. Both inlays and onlays serve as conservative alternatives to full dental crowns, preserving more of the natural tooth structure while providing strength and longevity.

The Differences Between Inlays and Onlays in Skokie, IL

When it comes to dental restorations, inlays and onlays are often confused. Let's clear up the differences between these two options.

Inlays are used when a cavity needs to be filled within the cusps of the tooth. They fit inside the contours of your tooth perfectly, providing a strong and durable solution.

Onlays, on the other hand, extend over one or more cusps of the treated tooth. This makes them ideal for larger areas that need restoration while preserving as much healthy tooth structure as possible.

While both inlays and onlays demonstrate excellent durability compared to traditional fillings, they serve slightly different purposes based on the extent of damage to the tooth. Your Skokie, IL dentist will determine which option is best suited for your specific case after evaluating your oral health needs.

Materials and Advancements

The materials used for crafting inlays and onlays have evolved significantly over time, providing a diverse range of options to suit varying preferences and requirements. Traditional materials include gold and porcelain, prized for their durability and natural aesthetics. However, advancements in dental technology have introduced composite resins and ceramics, both of which provide comparable strength and superior aesthetics, seamlessly blending with the natural tooth structure. 

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays in Skokie, IL

The advantages of inlays and onlays extend far beyond mere restoration; they contribute to the overall health and longevity of the teeth. Some key benefits include:

  • Conservative Approach

Unlike crowns that require significant removal of tooth structure, inlays and onlays preserve more of the natural tooth, leading to better long-term oral health. 

  • Strength and Durability

Inlays and onlays, especially those crafted from modern materials, demonstrate exceptional strength and durability, ensuring longevity and functionality. 

  • Aesthetics

With the advancement of materials and techniques, inlays and onlays can be custom designed to match the color, shape, and translucency of natural teeth, resulting in a seamless and aesthetically pleasing restoration. 

  • Biocompatibility

Many of the materials used for inlays and onlays exhibit excellent biocompatibility, minimizing the risk of allergic reactions or adverse tissue responses.

  • Resistance to Staining

Unlike traditional amalgam fillings, composite resin and ceramic inlays and onlays are highly resistant to staining, maintaining their appearance over time.

The Procedure of Getting Inlays and Onlays in Skokie, IL

The process of receiving an inlay or onlay typically involves multiple steps, beginning with a comprehensive examination and assessment of the tooth's condition. The steps include the following.


The cosmetic dentist in Skokie, IL administers local anesthesia to numb the area before removing any decayed or damaged tooth structure. The tooth is then shaped to accommodate the inlay or onlay restoration.

Impression Taking

An impression or mold of the prepared tooth is then taken, capturing its exact dimensions and contours. This impression serves as a blueprint for fabricating the custom restoration. 

Temporary Restoration

While the permanent inlay or onlay is being fabricated in a dental laboratory, a temporary restoration may be placed to protect the tooth.


Once the custom restoration is ready, it is bonded onto the tooth surface using dental adhesive. The dentist ensures proper fit, occlusion, and aesthetics before finalizing the bonding process.

Final Adjustments

Any necessary adjustments are made to ensure optimal comfort, function, and aesthetics. The bite is checked to ensure proper alignment and occlusion with adjacent teeth.


The final restoration is polished to a smooth finish, blending seamlessly with the natural tooth structure and enhancing its aesthetics. Call us to learn more.

Caring for Your Inlays and Onlays in Skokie, IL

Caring for your inlays and onlays is essential to ensure their longevity and maintain your oral health.

  • Proper care involves daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque buildup around the restoration. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush will help prevent scratching the surface of the inlays or onlays.
  • Avoid biting down on hard objects like ice or pens, as this can damage the restorations.
  • It's also important to attend regular dental checkups for professional cleanings and assessments of your inlays and onlays. Your dentist may recommend specific dental products tailored for restorations to keep them looking their best.

In case you experience any discomfort or notice changes in your bite, contact your dentist promptly for evaluation. With consistent care and attention, your inlays and onlays can continue to enhance both the appearance and function of your smile.


Inlays and onlays represent a harmonious marriage of art and science in the field of dentistry, providing patients with a conservative yet durable solution for restoring damaged teeth. With their ability to preserve natural tooth structure, provide strength and longevity, and deliver aesthetic excellence, these remarkable restorations continue to play a vital role in modern dental practice. As technology advances and materials evolve, the future holds even greater promise for the continued refinement and enhancement of inlays and onlays, ensuring that smiles remain vibrant and healthy for generations to come. 

Experience the difference at Krueger Dental Associates! Discover personalized care, advanced treatments, and a commitment to your oral health. Schedule your appointment today at our Skokie, IL, location. Call us at (847) 328-1180 to take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile!

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